• Tim Herrera

Hello, honesty and integrity in communications. Are you there?

We’ve lost confidence in many people we should be able to depend on for information. Whether we are dealing with brands or elected leaders, we know when someone is giving us their viewpoint and or feeding us lies. People tell us one thing, yet news reports tell us something to the contrary. Honesty and integrity matter. At least they should.

Philanthropist and all-around business genius Warren Buffett once said, “Trust is like the air we breathe; when it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.”

Whether it’s in the news we consume, the people we elect, or the products we buy, we want to trust.

Jason Sprenger, President of Game Changer Communications, writes, “It’s so easy today to relax the rules and tell little white lies. It’s never been easier, because we can communicate via technology so much, to hide the truth and avoid looking people in the eye.”

It’s all about trust and lying breaks that trust. One of the biggest problems false advertisers face is that – sooner or later – the truth catches up with them and things unravel.

James Archer, Chief Executive Officer for Forty, says strict honesty makes for the most effective advertising. In the article “The truth about truth: why honesty builds stronger bonds”, Archer said, “False messaging is unsustainable. Those who engage in this practice can coast for a while and may even see success before it unravels.” (This is the perfect spot for political commentary which I will avoid.)

It’s like we were always taught by our parents, honesty is the best policy. The truth is always left standing at the end. We don’t want to have our trust violated and feel deceived.

Whether we are dealing with consumers, representatives, or family members, we want to build and maintain trust. It’s the foundation of good communications.

(Tim Herrera is the author of Media Training: A Guide to Giving Great Interviews and several other books on communications.)

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